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swing4terps 11-23-2012 06:02 PM

Furious! Need Advice...
So frustrated right now after a service experience I had at the dealership. Sorry if this gets lengthy. Wanted to get some insight from others on my proposed action plan...

So I scheduled an appointment to get two issues I've been having looked at:

1) A bang when wiggling the steering wheel when the car is off. (sounded like steering rack) Also, lately I've been hearing a clunk that I thought was this same thing getting worse.

2) Under stop and go conditions, I sometimes get a loud bang/jolt from underneath. It sounds like something that should be stationary is moving upon moderate braking.

So I drop the car off this morning. There was one woman working the service desk; it was busy. I noticed on the service sheet description did not mention wiggling the wheel when car off, so I mentioned that to her again and asked that she have them look over all driveline components especially the front diff bushings. SHE DID NOT WRITE ANYTHING ADDITIONAL DOWN. I left.

Get a call a few hours later. One of my diff bushings is done and she said the diff is actually lodging in the one of the brackets. I've seen people on here say it's $600 for all 3 to be replaced, so when she said it would be $780 to replace one I was hesitant.

Here's the issue. I voiced to this same lady when I made the appointment and again on the phone today that I have put a decent amount of money into this car lately. I said I wanted to get these things diagnosed and depending on cost I was either going to go ahead with the work and hope I would be good for a while or if it was going to be expensive I was just going to get rid of it. When she told me the diagnoses, I said "You're sure that's what's causing the bang with the steering wheel?" She said, "Yup, 100% sure." I've already had another mechanic tell me he thought it was the steering rack, so this seemed odd. I said I'd call her back.

I decided that if $780 was going to fix all the issues, I would go ahead with it. It didn't make sense, but hey I'm not the mechanic. I called her back and that's when I reiterated that as long as they were sure it fixed all my problems they could go ahead with it. I asked if they looked at the driveline and she said "Yes, everything else looks good." I hung up the phone expecting that all issues I reported would be fixed.

Pick it up and pay. Get in the car and wiggle the wheel to see if the noise was gone. I had a real good feeling it wasn't going to be and I was right. I walk back in and tell her and she says to me, "Oh I think they were just looking for the clunk while driving. Not with the steering wheel." She tells me to go drive it and see what I think/hear and bring it back. I do. The clunk while driving that I thought was the rack worsening appeared to be gone. Still no definitive answer on whether issue #2 was fixed. She offers to have them lift it and check out the other clunk. Mechanic diagnoses it as an internal problem with the steering rack. Need a new one. I'm starting to get really mad as I know this is not going to be cheap. She said they could get an aftermarket one and it would only be $300-$400. She asked me if I wanted her to get a quote and I said sure. She comes back 10 minutes later and says it would be another $1,000 and apologizes and says because of their error her boss said he would take 20% off the cost of the rack and labor to install.

MY PROBLEM IS THIS: Had she told me off the bat the total was going to be $1800 to fix everything I would have said "No thanks" and gotten rid of this Jeep. But she didn't and now I'm furious that I just paid $780 to not have all my issues fixed. Even though I was really pissed, I tried to be cordial. I said, "What's the risk if I don't get the rack fixed?" The mechanic said worst case I it could lock up on me, but he didn't think that would happen. Then the lady had the nerve to look at me and say, "See, you'll be fine. We fixed one clunk." I held back my notion to tell her to go F herself and I asked the mechanic if there was any way for him to tell just what was wrong inside the rack or how bad it was and he said no.

I was so frustrated at this point that I didn't want to lose my cool, so I basically just left and said I'd call back tomorrow. Tell me why I shouldn't go back up there tomorrow and speak with the Service Director/GM and demand all but my $95 diagnostic fee back? As far as I'm concerned, I was misled and I'm not cool with that. If they want they can put my old beat up parts back on there and take the new ones off, but I feel like I am owed a refund. An "Oops" and an apology is not worth $780 in my book. Neither is 20% off another $1000.

Am I wrong? What would you do? Note: The Service Director was there the whole time this was happening and didn't even come over to speak to me about the mix-up or offer any resolution. I'm not sure talking to him is going to do any good.

Thanks in advance everbody.

bill_de 11-23-2012 06:56 PM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...
I would talk to the service manager and if necessary the owner of the dealership. The one hurdle you left in your way was not insisting that everything you wanted checked was written on the work order. When they asked you to sign it, you should have added the item she left off.

I hope they do something for you. But, you apparently had two problems that required two fixes and they approached them one at a time. If the dealership doesn't give you any satisfaction, I would take it somewhere else for the rack. I think you said another mechanic had already diagnosed it. Maybe he should have replaced it.

Good Luck!

connie 11-29-2012 08:31 AM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...
on your number 2 issue what was the cause and what's had to be replaced ???? what was the cost of repair? I have the same bang/jolt sometimes upon sudden but moderate braking even at extremely slow speed's indeed like something that should be stationary but moving upon moderate braking.

Thanks in advance

swing4terps 11-29-2012 11:30 AM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...

Originally Posted by connie (Post 716938)
on your number 2 issue what was the cause and what's had to be replaced ???? what was the cost of repair? I have the same bang/jolt sometimes upon sudden but moderate braking even at extremely slow speed's indeed like something that should be stationary but moving upon moderate braking.

Thanks in advance

I wish I knew. They didn't diagnose or fix this issue either.

connie 11-29-2012 03:15 PM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...
very sorry to hear that.....

in my JGC this is happening a second after i apply sudden pressure to the brakes.....and when i accelerate (from idle) fast for just a second same story. Once, i was driving with my window open and together with this 'bang' i heard a metal noice coming under the car.......

On the other hand when i accelerate gradually or pusshing the brakes gradually everything is ok.

for the record..... my mechanic told me that it's the weight of the car pushing some connecting some rubbers when going forward / backwards on breaking or acceleration........but don't know if its correct.

I am planning to visit the dealer next week as i am very curious what they will diagnose. I will revert with an update

Billyb.cpt 11-29-2012 09:36 PM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...
Wow! $780?! I bought all 3 diff bushings for $250 from a Jeep dealer and then had my mechanic replace them for $100 labor in under 2 hrs. Sorry to hear that buddy but you should never go back that f'n dealer again for service. Or a dealer period, they're called "stealerships" for a reason. Take the fight directly to the owner of the dealership!

2005JGC 12-01-2012 09:58 AM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...
I would call some other dealers and get price quotes, if you have somewhere they could fax them to would be even better. That way not only can you state that the writers inability to do their job properly cost you 800 dollars and pull out 3 or 4 quotes from other dealers all of which will likely be almost 200 less.

Now you did authiorize the work and not price shopping is not the dealers fault what I mean by that is there is NO industry where you can authorize work be performed then go in after the fact and complain that comperable buisnesses charge less, but it does call them out on the fact that they screwed up and there is still PLENTY of wiggle room in the cost of the one repair they did to bring it down to the average market level, and of all people someone who their poor service screwed over.

Its a tough situation. From the techs standpoint, he very well may have never been told about the steering wheel clunk (I dealt with writers like this). So he did his job 100%. Furthermore, I have had some problems that are the customers main concern that I just cannot duplicate but the ujoints are falling apart and the car misfires under load (typically a secondary ignition miss, plugs wires...) so now how to I say that I cannot find what they think is going to end up causing the vehicle to explode but its not safe to drive with these ujoints and driving on misfires will cause much more expensive damage... No one is ever happy with that... This was not the case for your mistreatment, the service writer was. And at the end of the day you noted they were busy and it was only her, so this also goes up the chain to managment for not having more help on the drive.

swing4terps 12-03-2012 09:31 AM

Re: Furious! Need Advice...
I went back up to the dealership the next day to speak to the Service Director. He was not in, so I asked to speak to the GM. I sat down with the GM and explained the situation. He tried to feed me some BS about how often times car fixes are "trial and error," and that my situation happens sometimes. I told him I was insulted at their "remedy" to the situation being offering me 20% off another $1,000 spent.

I formally requested they return all my money less the diagnostic fee and he stated that was not a call he could make. He said he could only make a decision like that regarding Sales and only the Service Director could make that call. He told me he thought it would be unlikely that they would refund my money. He also told me he could make the bill go away by getting me in a new car since he has the ability to play with the numbers in that sense. I did offer up the fact that I would be shopping for another vehicle had they given me the total quote up front. I wasn't born yesterday and realize that the "deal" I would be getting is never really going to be one. I told him I would like to see what they could do about getting me my money back first. I left the dealership with a promise that I would receive a call from the GM or Service Director first thing Monday morning (11/26).

It is now a week later and I never heard back from the dealer. I work full time and go to grad school two nights a week with finals approaching before the holidays. I don't have time to drive to the dealer and argue with them. So I filed a dispute with my credit card company. They sounded willing to help me out, and have temporarily refunded me the money. I wrote a nice long explanation of the situation and sent it to them on Friday. I'm hoping they will threaten to not pay and essentially have the dealer by the balls; forcing them to remedy it somehow.

As far as the cost that I paid for what was fixed; that doesn't really bother me. I understand some dealers are going to charge more than others. In actuality it wasn't just a bushing. Breakdown was:

$40 Bushing
$160 Bracket-Front Cover
$530 Labor
$42 Taxes, Misc. Charges

We'll see what happens...

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